Points of Unity
These are the basic principles that we as a collective agree to embrace and uphold within the Bonfire collective social space and within the cafe itself.
- We strive to oppose all oppressive actions, social structures and norms. These include but are not limited to sexism, homophobia, racism, ageism, ableism, and other forms. We recognise that our society affords power and privilege to some groups (males, non-queer folks, white folks, able-bodied, etc) and targets other groups. We strive to engage ourselves and our collective members in learning about these behaviors and challenging them within ourselves and our community. Oppressive behaviors will not be tolerated within our space.
- Bonfire is queer-positive. We are accepting of all non-oppressive forms of gender and sexual expression. We seek to challenge the societal restrictions, expectations and norms that conceive of gender roles as fixed, natural and unchangeable and that see only heterosexual behaviors as natural, normal and positive. This is also known as 'heteronormativity', and we see it as undeniably oppressive and baseless.
- As anti-authoritarians, we must recognize that we are on indigenous land and any movement for a truly free society must include support for the self-determination and autonomy of the indigenous nations that existed on these continents prior to colonization. We must recognize the role that our society and our governments have played in destroying indigenous cultures and laying claim to land which they had no right to claim. Locally, these indigenous groups include the Chumash-speaking nations, Federally-recognized or not, that once occupied this land.
- We are for liberty and self-determination for all people. We are in solidarity with struggles for freedom and self-determination around the world. We believe that people should be free to act as they wish as long as this does not impose upon the freedom and well-being of others. To this end, we oppose social hierarchies and authoritarian institutions everywhere, from the household to the streets, from the school to the workplace. We believe that in order for people to be truly free, they should have direct and common control over all decisions that affect their lives and the spaces in which they live. This philosophy has been called anarchism, and its ends called anarchy (a society without rulers). We are well aware that this word has been much maligned by those whose privilege and power it threatens; this fact only gives us more determination to uphold it.
- We recognize that one can not possibly be 'free' in any meaningful way if the necessities of life (food, water, shelter, information, education, music, art, etc.) are not readily accessible. We recognize that these necessities are held hostage by those with the most access to wealth and power; those with relatively little access to wealth and power are forced to sell their labor for wages in order to obtain these things. To this end we support and encourage efforts to make these resources freely available to all; efforts towards these ends are sometimes known as “mutual aid” or “gift economics.”
- We seek to promote environmental sustainability and the replenishment/revitalization of ecosystems around the world. We oppose the destruction of ecosystems for human gain and seek to promote alternative ways of living that support rather than destroy the biological world. We recognize that capitalism, in its need for ever-expanding resource consumption, is a threat to life on Earth. We oppose false solutions to environmental crises that prioritize corporate profit above human and environmental well-being, including “clean coal” and “carbon trading” among others. The only viable solution is to put people in direct control over their resources and environments, and to abolish economic systems motivated by profit and expansion.
- Bonfire Collective encourages anyone with an interest in the project and who agrees to these points of unity to join. If for any reason a member should choose to leave the collective, we will respect their right to do so. Similarly, if a member of the collective feels that another member has made them feel disrespected, oppressed, or otherwise uncomfortable, the collective will begin discussing the issue as soon as possible and convene a meeting if necessary. If required, the collective can decide to expel any member of the group by a consensus decision of all members, excluding the member being expelled. Bonfire will also not tolerate members in the collective who are affiliated with groups that are at odds with the points of unity, such as racist or sexist organizations.